Educator Spotlight: Danielle Marshall

Before using Reflex, Ms. Danielle Marshall “used a more traditional flashcard program focused on introducing new facts based on their fact families and assessing them each week. I often had kids who lacked the motivation to study the facts and lost flashcards on a weekly basis. Parents had to force their kids to study and the learning was not ‘fun.’ My low performing students usually made little to no progress and it was very difficult to challenge my higher performing students since they all had to study the same facts each week.”

Reflex has been a completely different experience for Ms. Marshall and her students. “Saying that my students love Reflex is an understatement. They look forward to our ‘Reflex days.’ It keeps them challenged and engaged throughout the whole session. Reflex has helped build my students fact fluency, confidence, and speed. Reflex allows each student to work on the facts that they struggle with and allowing for instant differentiation. During the school day, they often refer back to what they did or learned on Reflex to make connections with current discussions.”

Her students use Reflex three times a week in school. “Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday is a ‘Reflex Morning.’ After announcements, students log on and have 20 minutes to achieve the Green Light. If they do not get the Green Light at school that morning, it becomes homework. I have encouraged students to get on at home on the non-Reflex mornings. I have several that do get on more than the required 3 days a week and parents have often said they haven’t had to even ask because their kids beg them to let them log on. We have a Green Light chart. Every day they get the Green Light, they get to add a sticker to their chart. After every 25 stickers, they get a prize.”

Students have learned a lot about graphing data through the Reflex reports. “In the beginning, we looked at every chart and graph in the reporting facility to analyze the data and understand what each report was telling us. This was a tremendous support to our graphing unit in second grade. As the year continued, students would check their fact fluent reports every day to track their growth. As a class, on celebration days, we routinely check individual student data usage reports (to count Green Lights and reward students for achieving their goals). They love seeing how fluent they are. and I believe they can see how it has helped improve their everyday math skills. My second graders set goals, and challenge themselves to achieve those goals and then to set new ones. I don’t have to spend hours trying to go through paper pencil assessments. The data/feedback is quick so I know exactly where I can push/intervene with each student.”

All of Ms. Marshall’s students have made progress. “No matter where they started in the beginning of the year, they have improved. This has built their confidence in so many areas. Not only have they made growth but they made it quickly, allowing them to focus on the new tasks at hand in our Investigations Curriculum units vs. struggling to solve the basic math facts. I am noticing a difference throughout other math units. They use what they have learned with their math facts in order to break apart numbers or solve larger problems. ”

“I love Reflex because it moves at a child’s pace, gives quick feedback, and is engaging. Reflex has provided enrichment and intervention all at the same time for my students who are at different levels in class. We are taking monthly fact fluency assessments to check our children’s growth, and so far the students who have consistently got on Reflex and got the Green Light are making strides in their fluency.”

She adds, “Reflex has been nothing short of amazing for my classroom. I love this program and so do my students and their parents! I feel like people have to experience it just once to understand its true power. It does not just improve fact fluency. Reflex builds the foundation for solving multi-digit math problems, while also building confidence which leads to students having success in so many other areas. I would recommend Reflex to everyone looking to enhance their students fact fluency and build a strong foundation for their mathematical thinking.”

Danielle Marshall is a second grade teacher in the Stow Munroe Falls City School District in Ohio. As a third year teacher, teaching all subject areas, she is always looking for exciting yet effective ways to engage her students in their own learning.